over watering weed plants


Problem: After watering, your plants start drooping. Usually the droopy leaves will feel firm and appear curled down (the whole leaf will be curled, not just the tips, which is often a sign of nitrogen toxicity). With overwatered cannabis plants, you may also notice Chlorosis (leaf yellowing that is similar to a nitrogen deficiency).

Overwatered cannabis plants are droopy with leaves that curl down. As a result of overwatering, leaves often turn yellow or show other signs of nutrient deficiencies (especially when it comes to younger plants and seedlings!)

Overwatering does not always mean you’ve been giving the plant too much water. It can also mean that you’ve been giving the plant water too often, or growing plants in a growing medium that holds onto water without enough air, or doesn’t have good drainage out the bottom.

Cannabis plants use their roots to get oxygen, almost like they’re breathing. Oxygen is dissolved in water, and there’s also air pockets in their grow medium to provide a source of oxygen. When you water your plants too often, the roots end up sitting in stagnant water. The reason your plants droop is because basically their roots are starving for oxygen.

This sick marijuana seedling has several symptoms including droopiness and leaves with brown spots that appear to be a nutrient deficiency. Surprisingly, the true cause of both problems actually is the thick, wet, muddy soil.

The main sign of a cannabis plant being overwatered are the droopy leaves, though other symptoms often appear around the same time!

Overwatered Marijuana Plants

  • Drooping / Curling is the first sign of overwaterd marijuana plants
  • Plants start drooping soon after watering
  • Leaves are firm and curled down all the way from the stem to the leaf
  • Will eventually lead to leaf yellowing and other signs of nutrient problems if not corrected

The drooping cannabis plant below did not have drainage holes (water could not drain out the bottom of the pot). After watering the plant which appeared healthy the night before, the grower came back to this drooping plant the next day – this case of overwatering was caused by too much water being held near the roots due to lack of drainage:

Solution: The best thing you can do for overwatered plants is give them time between waterings, and then start off watering slowly until things seem back to normal. Make sure that water is able to drain easily out the bottom of potted cannabis plants. Be extra careful with small plants in big containers.

How to Water Cannabis Properly

Wait until the top of the growing medium is dry about an inch deep (up to your first knuckle).

Add water until you see some at least 20% extra runoff water drain out the bottom of your pot. Go back to step 1.

If top of growing medium stays wet for a long time, you may need to give your plants less water at a time, or improve your drainage.

The goal is to be watering your plants every 2-3 days. If it needs longer to dry out, you should be giving less water at a time. If it’s drying out too quickly it should get more water at a time (or may need to move to a bigger pot).

Some growers also use the “lift the pot” method to decide when to water your plants (basically wait until your pot feels “light” since the plants have used up all the water). It’s up to you to decide what’s easier for you.

If your plant medium seems to stay wet for a long time (more than 4-5 days or so), you may need better drainage. This also can happen when growers put tiny plants in a pot that’s way too big.

This cannabis plant has green healthy leaves, but as a result of overwatering it’s stunted and small even though its more than a month old.

Make sure that water drains freely from the bottom of your container (it’s recommended that you provide enough water to get at least 20% extra runoff every time you water your plants as long as your plants are drinking well).

You should see water coming out the bottom within a minute or two after watering. Then don’t water your plants again until the soil is dry up to your first knuckle.

If your plants are already overwatered, you can try to increase the temperature and airflow to help the water evaporate more quickly. You can also use a pencil to gently poke some air holes into the growing medium to provide extra aeration and oxygen to the roots.

Whenever a seedling has droopy leaves, it means that the roots are either not getting enough water (underwatered) or not getting enough oxygen (overwatered). This seedling has been chronically watered too often, preventing the roots from getting enough oxygen. As a result, the seedling has stayed small and mostly stopped growing.

For your individual growing medium and environment, your watering method will vary, but if your plants are drooping and you’ve been feeding them a lot of water, it’s a good idea to cut back and see if that helps.

Sometimes plants will be droopy no matter what you do, and the true cause is the plant is rootbound and needs a bigger container!

If you’re growing hydroponically with your marijuana roots directly in water and you see the signs of overwatering, that means you have a problem at your roots. Either your plants have root rot which is preventing them from getting oxygen at their roots, or you are not dissolving enough oxygen into the water (you can easily increase the dissolved oxygen in your water with a quality air pump and a few air stones).

Need more help?

If your plant is experiencing “the claw” and not just normal drooping (the ends of leaves are curling like a claw or pointing down like talons), then you may actually have a nitrogen toxicity (too much nitrogen).

These Plants Are NOT Overwaterd, These Leaves Show Signs of “The Claw” which usually indicates a Nitrogen Toxicity
(“The Claw”, tips bent down, curling / clawing, dark green leaves)

Overwatering and underwatering cannabis plants are easy to do and can cause multiple symptoms including slow growth. Learn to recognize and fix these issues.

Over Watering Cannabis | How to Solve it

Inicio » Crop articles » Over Watering Cannabis | How to Solve it

Cannabis plants can present many issues during their growing process, especially if you’re a beginner and you don’t have much experience growing cannabis. One of the most common issues with it comes to new growers is over watering cannabis plants, which can cause root rot which is devastating for cannabis plants. In order to solve accidental over watering you’ll need to work fast. People tend to assume that watering is simple, but it’s something that should be done with caution when it comes to cannabis plants. In this particular post we’re going to attempt to solve over watering in cannabis plants.

Over watering cannabis – What can happen?

Over watering cannabis plants that still haven’t had their growth spurt can be quite a big issue. Water can build up in the bottom of the flowerpot and end up rotting the roots – this can kill off small plants or cause them to grow super short and produce lower yields due to their size. Plus, if this happens indoors your other plants may end up shading the smaller plant, killing it off entirely.

One of the most important parts of cannabis plants are their roots; they essentially hold your plants down, while also absorbing nutrients and water during each stage, absorbing oxygen during the process. Excessive watering can actually drown roots, causing nutrient blockages and series issues with your plants.

Over Watering Symptoms

You’ll need to pay close attention to your plant in order to spot over watering issues. One of the biggest factors is how they act after being watered; if they begin to droop you may have a sign of root obstruction. Another symptom, one of the clearest ones, is discoloration on your plants’ leaves, which can start turning a light yellow color. This happens when water excess is a persistent issue, which can cause issues such as a dramatic decrease in yield (if you manage to recover the plant) and can even be fatal if left untreated for long enough.

In order to avoid over watering, you’ll need to start off using a small amount of water, around a glass’s worth. You can begin increasing the dose once it’s big enough to need two glasses a day; this can take around a week. This allows for your plants to grow out longer roots faster, which causes for larger plants that can absorb more water and nutrients.

How to Fix Over Watering Cannabis Plants


When your plants have grown large enough you shouldn’t have to worry about overwatering, as long as it doesn’t happen every day. If you’ve over watered, the first thing you need to do is wait a couple of days until it’s fully dry. The water tends to pool at the bottom of the flowerpot, which is one of the main causes of root rot. The next time you water your plants, you’ll need to start using enzymes so that the root system grows strong and sturdy and can recover from any damage. Enzymes are catalysts which essentially force various chemical processes in your plants that grow even faster. When it comes to cannabis plants, enzymes are used to get rid of dead roots much faster, turning them into sugars which the living roots can absorb, while also making space for new, healthy roots.


While it may seem silly, choosing the right substrate is incredibly important. Your plant is going to live in the soil you choose for it, so choosing correctly is vital. There are many different types to choose from, all of which have plenty of different qualities, and each one treats water differently. Here at we recommend using substrates that don’t hold water for too long if you tend to have issues with over watering. We recommend choosing a substrate that contains perlite, as well as natural peat combinations which are great for cannabis, allowing plants to absorb nutrients and water in order to grow successfully.

If fixed fast enough, you shouldn’t notice much of a difference in yield, although it’s a stressful process and your plant may lose a couple of days’ growth. However, if it happens regularly, you’ll definitely notice in the quality of your final yield. If you manage to over water and rot your roots various times, they may not be able to regrow properly, and your plants may end up with fungi and rot issues. However, with our tips and tricks this shouldn’t happen.

Once you’ve sorted the issue, you can continue with normal watering and feeding schedules, making sure that history doesn’t repeat itself. If you use enzymes during the entire process your plants’ roots will be much healthier and it will be much harder for them to rot. One of the reasons roots tend to get soaked and end up in a puddle is because some growers simply throw their water in all at once instead of pouring and letting it seep down.

Avoid Over Watering Cannabis by Watering Efficiently

Keep in mind that the amount of water that your plant can absorb may vary due to different reasons; the relative humidity, the temperature, how long since you watered etc. A plant that drank a liter of water a week ago may only need half a liter the next week, so you need to play it a bit like ear.

The most accurate way to water is to do it in stages, allowing it to be soaked up by the soil, until it begins to come out the bottom of the flowerpot. From that moment onwards, any more water is probably too much. Keep in mind that this isn’t an exact science, and you may make mistakes every now and then, so we recommend keeping a close eye on the process; experience is the best way to learn. We also recommend taking extreme care with smaller plants, as over watering can cause them to stop growing entirely; water calmly and carefully.

If you've ever had to deal with accidentally over watering cannabis, don't fret; read on to find out how to avoid over watering your plants!